For public land management in Idaho and western Montana, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) predict where mineral-related activity will occur in the next decade. Cellular automata provide an approach to simulation of this human activity. Cellular automata (CA) are defined by an array of cells, which evolve by a simple transition rule, the automaton. Based on exploration trends, we assume that future exploration will focus in areas of past exploration. Spatial-temporal information about mineral-related activity, that is permits issued by USFS and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the last decade, and spatial information about undiscovered resources, provide a basis to calibrate a CA. The CA implemented is a modified annealed voting rule that simulates mineral-related activity with spatial and temporal resolution of 1 mi2 and 1 year based on activity from 1989 to 1998. For this CA, the state of the economy and exploration technology is assumed constant for the next decade. The calibrated CA reproduces the 1989-1998-permit activity with an agreement of 94%, which increases to 98% within one year. Analysis of the confusion matrix and kappa correlation statistics indicates that the CA underestimates high activity and overestimates low activity. Spatially, the major differences between the actual and calculated activity are that the calculated activity occurs in a slightly larger number of small patches and is slightly more uneven than the actual activity. Using the calibrated CA in a Monte Carlo simulation projecting from 1998 to 2010, an estimate of the probability of mineral activity shows high levels of activity in Boise, Caribou, Elmore, Lincoln, and western Valley counties in Idaho and Beaverhead, Madison, and Stillwater counties in Montana, and generally low activity elsewhere. ?? 2002 International Association for Mathematical Geology.
Additional publication details
Preliminary cellular-automata forecast of permit activity from 1998 to 2010, Idaho and Western Montana